News

REVIEW: Arnold Schwarzenegger fights for a return in ‘Sabotage’

REVIEW: Arnold Schwarzenegger fights for a return in ‘Sabotage’

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Joe Manganiello surprises audience members at a special advance screening of their new movie, Sabotage, in Chicago. Photo: Associated Press/Barry Brecheisen/Invision

Genre: Action, Crime, Drama | Run Time: 109 min | Rated: R
Director: David Ayer | Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sam Worthington

By: George Wolf

At 67-years-old, Arnold Schwarzenegger is having a career resurgence of sorts. Sabotage is his 3rd film to be released in the last 12 months, and he has 5 more in development, including sequels to Expendables, Conan and Terminator. That’s not to say he’s exactly found an audience for his return to the big screen, but he’s certainly trying.

Truth is, neither Escape Plan or The Last Stand – his last two efforts – made at the box office even half of what they cost to produce. You’ve got to hope that his sequels do a little better, or that he’s put away some cash for retirement from somewhere else, because Sabotage is not likely to please a wider audience than his last two flicks.

It’s a darker film that you might expect, with mercifully few jokes about Arnold’s age. As Breacher, a legendary DEA agent whose career has taken an ugly turn, the big Austrian leads a team of unhinged misfits whose last bust corrupted their trust in the team and in Breacher.

Sabotage was co-written and directed by David Ayer, whose resume is littered with ill-conceived, gritty cop dramas (and the first Fast and Furious flick – so thanks for that). It’s a winding tale of double crosses that betray the worst in everybody, but Ayer can’t find a clean path through the story and Arnold can’t begin to shoulder the emotional weight required of his should-be complex character.

Points for a couple of unusual casting decisions. Mireille Enos cuts a sketchy figure as the team’s sole female agent – a role that could easily have fallen to (and seems to have been written for) a shapely babe pretending to be a badass. Instead, Enos looks like someone who could be mistaken for a meth addict (a plus in the world of covert DEA ops). She chews scenery, but at least she’s memorable.

Likewise, Olivia Williams has talent, and her ease with the material allows some genuine chemistry and natural humor to invade an otherwise stiff, by-the-numbers action flick. What she can’t do is handle a southern accent. Ouch.

Some decent red herrings are thrown about as Williams’s good cop works with Breacher to figure out who is picking off his team one by one. This generates decent tension as the investigation leads us through otherwise obvious territory. It’s when Ayer tries to throw an actual curve ball that things get sloppy.

He’s not aided by his lead’s performance, though. The twisty, secret-riddled script required a performance with a modicum of range. And yet, Ayers cast Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Curious.

Verdict-2-0-Stars

Read more movie reviews at MaddWolf.com.

Recent Headlines

in Sports

AP Source: Celtics trade Rondo to Mavericks

Fresh
rajon rondo head shot

Four-time all-star point guard Rajon Rondo traded to the Dallas Mavericks. The Celtics will get Jae Crowder, Brandan Wright, Jameer Nelson and two draft picks.

in Local Sports

WWU women fall 64-63 to No.4 West Texas A&M at South Point Classic

Fresh
WWU women lose

Vikings see three potential game-winning shots miss in final 24 seconds. Western women fall to 5-and-4 on the year.

in National

Jobless claims signal firmer labor market

Job seekers adjust their paperwork as they wait in line to attend a job fair in New York February 28, 2013.

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, suggesting the labor market continued to strengthen.

in Sports

Warriors’ Bogut out indefinitely after PRP therapy

Fresh
Golden State Warriors' Andrew Bogut, left, returns a fist bump gesture from Los Angeles Clippers' Chris Paul, right, as Warriors' David Lee, rear left, and Stephen Curry, rear center, looks on before the start of their NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Wednesday, March 12, 2014.

The Warriors said that Bogut consulted with the team's medical staff and his personal physician from Australia before deciding on the treatment on his ailing right knee.

in Sports

Thursday Night Football: Jags facing Titans on KPUG

Fresh
nfl titans vs jaguars now

Jacksonville host Tennessee in tonight's NFL game that pits the co-holders of last place in the AFC South with 2-12 records. Kick-off is at 5:25pm. Our coverage starts after WWU basketball.